Fear of Isolation, Willingness to Self-Censor, and Refrain from Expression on Social Media: The Moderating Role of Network Characteristics
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractUsing a two-wave survey in Hong Kong, this study examines the spiral of silence process on social media. It argues fear of isolation plays a significant role in influencing willingness to self-censor on social media, which in turn enhances refraining from expression. While willingness to self-censor mediates the relationship between fear of isolation and refraining from expression, network heterogeneity and network publicness play a moderating role between fear of isolation and willingness to self-censor. Results from the moderated mediation analysis suggest that the indirect influence of fear of isolation on refraining from expression operates through willingness to self-censor at different levels of network heterogeneity and network publicness. A higher level of network heterogeneity and publicness will enhance the spiral of silence process. In addition, findings indicate the spiral of silence refrain people from expressing disagreeing opinion, but not self-promoting political expression. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Acceptance Date08/02/2017
All Author(s) ListCHEN Hsuan Ting, GAN Chen
Name of ConferenceInternational Communication Association's 67th Annual Conference
Start Date of Conference25/05/2017
End Date of Conference29/05/2017
Place of ConferenceSan Diego, California
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Year2017
Month5
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsFear of Isolation, Spiral of Silence, Network Characteristic

Last updated on 2018-07-06 at 15:58

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